A veneration of Black women’s work and a celebration of survival, determination, and joy.


A Black child reflects on the resilience, vision, and hope of women in this picture book that explores a family’s history.

A Black youngster studies sepia family photographs on a table. The text refers to the “wildest dreams” of the kid’s “Mothers.” On the next page, a Black mother and child in 19th-century clothing hold flowers as they load wood into a cabin’s cast-iron stove. “I am the wish Grandma Hanna made as she labored to make her home safe and warm in the Old Dominion,” the narrator says. “I am Mama Mamie’s desire for her children to always find their way back to each other.” Light tracks multiple lineages of mothers through farming, moves into cities, and family gatherings. Each woman is represented by a flower. The struggles of raising families during slavery, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow are implicit. Wu Wa hopes that her children will pull down “pillars of hate” (a kid points to a Confederate monument). Explanations of historical details are left to adult readers’ discretion and children’s developmental readiness. Rather than focus on hardships, Mikai’s illustrations show seven mothers in moments of communion with their families. Beautiful digital paintings contrast the warm browns of skin, wood, and earth with the bright jewel tones of cloth, flowers, and food. Finally, the child from the first page appears again, thrown into the air by the kid’s own mother in a field of symbolic flowers.

A veneration of Black women’s work and a celebration of survival, determination, and joy.

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-73472-634-3

Page Count: 26

Publisher: They Lived Happily Ever After

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


Give this child’s-eye view of a day at the beach with an attentive father high marks for coziness: “When your ball blows across the sand and into the ocean and starts to drift away, your daddy could say, Didn’t I tell you not to play too close to the waves? But he doesn’t. He wades out into the cold water. And he brings your ball back to the beach and plays roll and catch with you.” Alley depicts a moppet and her relaxed-looking dad (to all appearances a single parent) in informally drawn beach and domestic settings: playing together, snuggling up on the sofa and finally hugging each other goodnight. The third-person voice is a bit distancing, but it makes the togetherness less treacly, and Dad’s mix of love and competence is less insulting, to parents and children both, than Douglas Wood’s What Dads Can’t Do (2000), illus by Doug Cushman. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 23, 2005

ISBN: 0-618-00361-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet